January 1, 2008 in City

Man back in jail over fatal crash

Meghann M. Cuniff Staff writer
 

The man who told police he had too much to drink before his pickup truck crashed into a sport utility vehicle Dec. 21, killing an 11-year-old boy, is back in jail.

Police arrested William R. Keizer on Monday afternoon, five days after he was released from the Spokane County Jail because no charges had been filed against him.

Keizer, 45, faces vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and drunken driving charges stemming from the late night crash that killed Wyatt Michael Williams-Herres and severely injured his adoptive father, 37-year-old Jaret Herres.

Keizer’s release was the result of “communication errors” between police and the county prosecutor’s office, police Cpl. Brad Hallock said.

They didn’t want to charge based on the affidavit alone, Hallock said. “They wanted to have basically a complete case file.”

Police met with prosecutors Monday afternoon and presented their investigation so far, including statements Keizer made following the crash and field sobriety test results. The prosecutor’s office agreed the evidence was “sufficient, in their eyes, to go ahead and go forward with charges,” Hallock said.

Keizer was arrested shortly after the meeting.

As of late Monday, Keizer was in jail on $500,000 bail. He declined a jailhouse interview request by a Spokesman-Review reporter.

Wyatt’s mother, Erica Williams, said she’s “ecstatic” to know Keizer’s back in jail.

“I just about fell to the floor,” Williams said. “This is Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to me.”

Williams was in the family’s car at the time of the crash, along with her other son, Orion. Neither was seriously injured. Herres, the driver, suffered a broken pelvis and several broken ribs. He was transferred Friday from Deaconess Medical Center to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane.

According to a witness account, Keizer was northbound on North Fancher Road when he cut off a driver attempting to turn left onto Trent Avenue.

That driver told police he saw Keizer’s red pickup swerving in and out of the westbound Trent Avenue lane before it crashed into Herres’ eastbound SUV near the Mission Avenue intersection. After the crash, Keizer told police he had been drinking since 3:30 p.m. and “just wanted to make it home,” according to a police report.

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